2006 bird flu prevention.doc

105-107 Nguyen Cong Tru Street Dist. 1, HCM City, Vietnam PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE
The presence of the H5N1 virus, better known as Bird Flu, has had very little impact to date on the Market Research industry in Vietnam. However, this may all change if the threat becomes more widespread. Acceptance ratios for both focus groups and product testing remain steady at roughly 75 to 80 per cent and we have yet to report a cancellation as a direct result of Bird Flu. In Vietnam, about 90 per cent of all research is conducted face-to-face with roughly a third of this being conducted in rural areas. Again, we have seen no decline from interviewers or respondents over the past 24 months. TNS has so far turned down one project, to measure the understanding of the H5N1 virus on small rural farmers who keep chickens. The sole reason we declined the project was not for fear of infection, but purely because time lines were too short to ensure that all interviewers we properly briefed and protected from the virus. In an effort to better understand the impact of the virus and potential measures required to avert any real dangers within the market research industry, we should factor in the general Vietnamese population’s reaction towards this threat. In a TNS survey conducted amongst 500 Vietnamese, all respondents were aware of the outbreak of the Virus. Of those, all but five agreed that the Flu was considered to be very costly to Vietnam as an economy and society. However, only 44 per cent agreed, “the flu is unlikely to infect people on a large scale”, demonstrating that awareness of the issue is much higher than concern for the consequences. The only real areas of impact seen on Vietnam’s general population since the outbreak of Bird Flu in Vietnam are as follows: • The purchase and consumption of chicken, fowl and their eggs has decreased by as much as 80 per cent in certain areas of the country • Fewer people are willing to travel as much into the Vietnamese country side, where 75 per cent of Vietnam’s population dwells • People are washing their hands more frequently The Vietnamese Government has been very pro-active and vigilant regarding the threat, as demonstrated in a recent Vietnam Investment Review article headlined “Provinces warned to be alert: Bird Flu contained but not beaten.” At present there are no off limit high-risk areas in Vietnam. Instead, TNS has implemented an early warning system, which flags all projects considered to be in high-risk areas. Once identified, interviewers are briefed on avoidance measures and provided with protective equipment and clothing. Interviewers as well as all full time staff are now schedule for vaccinations and or Tamiflu pills as a precaution. In order not to raise undue alarm, we would only notify clients if and when their research is being conducted in high-risk areas, let them know our countermeasures and ensure they concur. Though the need to implement these measures has yet to arise, TNS Vietnam is prepared. If Bird Flu becomes a pandemic, as many experts are predicting, a whole scale change in research approach and methodology may need to be considered. However, any such changes, such as Video conference FGD’s, and moving to Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) or Access Panels, would have to be discussed and supported by our client base to ensure the high quality of our results continue to meet expectations. Ralf Matthaes Managing Director TNS Vietnam

Source: http://www.tnsvietnam.vn/en/download_file/2006_Bird_Flu_prevention.pdf


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